Friday, November 10, 2017

The Babysitter (2017)

What do you do when you’re 12 years old, and the hot babysitter you’re in love with who really gets you turns out to be a blood-drinking Satan worshipper? Hey, we’ve all been there, and now it’s time for young Cole (Judah Lewis) to figure it out for himself in THE BABYSITTER, a new film now streaming on Netflix.

It sucks when you think you’re old enough to stay alone while Mom (Leslie Bibb) and Dad (Ken Marino) are gone for the weekend. But you could do worse than Bee (Samara Weaving), who watches BILLY JACK with you and thinks you’re cool for a kid, staying with you. Until she invites some friends over to jam knives into a nerd’s head and guzzle his blood. No, you cannot really do a whole helluva lot worse.

A gore-soaked horror picture with humor directed by, of all people, McG, demoted from big-time action pictures (CHARLIE’S ANGELS, TERMINATOR SALVATION) to low-budget straight-to-Netflix fare, THE BABYSITTER is the germ of a good idea written by Brian Duffield (INSURGENT), but the screenplay needed more work. When Cole has the chance to escape, he runs upstairs instead of the open front door next to him. And I’m to believe a police car with flashing cherries parked outside a suburban house at midnight, not to mention screams, explosions, and gunshots, wouldn’t attract even one neighbor’s attention? The killers don’t even draw the curtains before murdering three people.

Some of THE BABYSITTER is funny — a lot of it coming from the narcissistic stud played by Robbie Amell (THE DUFF) — and some of the kill scenes are cleverly conceived. How much of it trips your trigger will depend on your tolerance for McG’s more juvenile instincts. Both Lewis and Weaving do a nice job establishing their characters’ friendship, which is key to selling their conflict later, as silly as it is.

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